Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways – Know The Difference
Before hiring concrete contractors to build your driveway, you have to consider first whether you want to have a concrete or asphalt driveway. Concrete and asphalt are both made of stone mixtures plus different substances. These substances are the reasons why concrete and asphalt remain different in some respects.
Here are some of the common differences between asphalt and concrete that you should be aware of before deciding which one to have on your driveway.
A regular concrete driveway is off-white. If you want that clean white look in your garage, then you can go with concrete. You can ask your concrete contractor to stamp it to give it a better aesthetic look. The only downside of a regular concrete driveway is it gets stained easily. A drop of gas or oil can give it dark spots.
Asphalt comes in a traditional black color. Some people might not appreciate the black surface in their driveway while some find it okay. If you are not bothered by its color, you can find your asphalt driveway as a highway extension that ends in your home.
Concrete is highly durable, yet concrete driveways tend to crack when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. If your concrete driveway is exposed and without a roof, ice can cover it during winter. Ice contains salt that when it melts, can create blemishes on the surface.
Asphalt is made of stones and mixtures that make it hard and durable. However, exposure to extreme heat can also soften the tar components of asphalt. This is a common problem with asphalt that most concrete contractors in Austin are aware of. Since Texas is known for its hot weather, you must think again if you are planning to have an asphalt driveway.
A regular concrete driveway can cost you around $4 to $6/sq/ft. Stamping your concrete driveway can mean more. If you want a concrete driveway with a very smooth finish, that can cost you around $15/sq/ft.
For a cheaper driveway, you can go for asphalt and it will only cost around $2/sq/ft. A more expensive asphalt can cost up to $4. The price might increase depending on the current oil price though.
If your concrete contractor did everything right, from mixing to sealing, your concrete driveway wouldn’t need maintenance in the next few decades. Aside from proper curing and sealing, the only care you need to give your concrete driveway is to clean it regularly. If there will be cracks or chips, you can replace the slab to prevent it from getting bigger. A concrete driveway can last up to 50 years.
Asphalt requires constant sealing to keep it sturdy. Sealing it every 3 or 5 years is highly recommended. When properly maintained, an asphalt driveway can last up to 30 years.
What to Watch out In Your Driveway
Whether you have a concrete or an asphalt driveway, here are the things that you should watch out for. Keeping your eyes on these problems and fixing them immediately will help lengthen the lifespan of your driveway.
An earthquake or flooding can affect your driveway and the land area under it. Shift or movement of the earth can lead to uneven surfaces. How to fix it? You have to work on the foundation of your driveway which means taking out the old driveway and making a new, reliable one.
Small and Long Cracks
Don’t ignore small cracks. After a week or two, you might be surprised to see longer cracks. longer cracks can lead to a bigger problem and are harder to fix.
If your driveway has potholes, these can make driving uncomfortable. If your driveway is made by a professional concrete contractor, this is something that you might not have to worry about. Concrete company in Austin TX are known for their quality concrete works that last for decades.
Concrete and asphalt are made of cement and stone mixtures. If you notice any loose stones around your driveway, it means it is time for resealing. Loosening stones can lead to bigger breaks that can lead to bigger problems in the future such as suddenly having a bigger stone breaking off. Once you start seeing bigger break-offs, sealing won’t be enough to fix it. you have to rebuild the entire driveway which is more expensive.
Now that you know the difference between concrete and asphalt, have you decided which one to have in your driveway? For a better decision, ask your concrete contractors in Austin for their opinion as well. Your concrete contractor will surely help you have a more reliable and highly durable concrete driveway.
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